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Q10 : Christian Liberty

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Q10 : Christian Liberty

Perhaps just a small point to your second set of lecture notes [for the course Israel through the Eyes of Scripturea] where you represent p. 35 [edited] of the Moody Handbook of Theology: you have shown the Mosaic Covenant with a broken link. While this is true with regard to the conditionality of the promises of that Covenant, or with regard to the basis of Salvation under the New Covenant, it is nevertheless interesting that these Covenants are all one, for the Mosaic Covenant BY VIRTUE OF THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT in essence is not set aside. Rather, the Law of the Mosaic Covenant has been written into the hearts according to Jer. 31. In that sense, the link is not broken but redefined. He has not abolished the Law, He has fulfilled it and His Spirit enables the believer to live accordingly. I know that this may be a fine point but in Messianic circles it is a sensitive one because there is a general impression that due to an inadequate translation (Christ as the END of the law) the Christians have thrown the Law over board since grace is all that is needed.


Links Mentioned Above
a - See http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/2.htm.
A10 : by Tony Garland

I appreciate your comments regarding the Mosaic covenant, although on first reading I suspect we have some differences on the issue.  I am particularly concerned about Jewish/Messianic tendencies to move back in the direction of law keeping as a means of righteousness.  The idea that the New Covenant is a "renewal" of the Mosaic is not something I can endorse with my present understanding of Scripture.

It seems clear to me that Paul specifically deals with the issue of the relation between the New Covenant and the Mosaic. He bases the New Covenant on the Abrahamic Covenant, not the Mosaic—since salvation came by faith hundreds of years before the Mosaic Covenant. The idea that the New Covenant is a renewal of the Mosaic Covenant seems to me to contradict the teaching of Paul in Galatians 3.

This is a very big area with lots of subtleties. My primary concern is that many, who rightly embrace the Jewish roots of the faith, go too far and begin to walk backwards in the direction of "keeping the Law." We would all do well to write Galations 5:1-4 in large letters on a note and stick it to our refrigerators!

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised, that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

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